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Basic Trope: Horrific and terrifying things tend to happen around important holidays or notable calendar days.

  • Straight: Alice and her friends are stalked by the Santa Claus Killer, a supernaturally empowered serial killer dressed as Santa Claus during their Christmas party.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Something horrific (and usually Christmas-themed) happens to Alice and friends every Christmas; if it's not the Santa Claus Killer, then it's demonic snowmen, evil elves, alien Christmas trees...
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    • Alice and friends are stalked by some supernatural horror around every major holiday and celebration of calendar note, usually with some connection to the theme of the holiday in question; zombies attack on their Halloween party, they're hunted by the Santa Claus Killer at Christmas, their New Years' Eve Party is interrupted by the potential rise of an Eldritch Abomination at the stroke of midnight, an spurned ex-lover of Alice's makes a Deal with the Devil to possess Alice by any means on Valentines' Day, they're hunted by an evil leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day, and so forth.
  • Downplayed:
    • During their Christmas party, Alice and friends are stalked by... the Santa Claus-Themed Irritating But Harmless Practical Joker.
    • The horror is real but on a less important date, i.e. a personal anniversary or obscure holiday. Alice is...stalked by an ex-employee she fired on Boss's Day!
  • Justified:
    • The supernatural horror is inherently linked to the holiday by some kind of theme or traditional supernatural connection; for example, various supernatural occurrences and entities are traditionally linked to Halloween.
    • Alice and her friends (or someone connected to them) did something to provoke the wrath of the supernatural horror that is stalking them on a previous holiday, and the supernatural horror has chosen this holiday to seek revenge for poetic reasons.
    • Holidays are when lots of people tend to gather together en masse and, usually, let their guard down due to the spirit of the season — which, if you're a psychopath interested in wracking up a large body count, has to appeal.
  • Inverted:
    • The supernatural horror attacks any other day except a major holiday. Perhaps because it is no more eager to "work" on Christmas than the normal humans, so it spends the holidays relaxing.
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    • The friendlier-than-expected supernatural horror is just trying to have a relaxing, happy, or exciting holiday; or is there for something to do, when Alice and her friends encounter it and, misunderstanding, attack it. Complications ensue.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice and her friends are really scared that something terrible will happen at Christmas but nothing happens.
    • Alice and friends are confident that nothing bad will happen because it's not a major holiday. Bad things happen.
    • They are attacked by a killer with a red suit and white beard, but the killer had no idea it was Christmas. He just grabbed the red fur coat from his closet because it was cold.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Nothing happens at ChristmasNew Year, on the other hand...
    • And then the Hanukkah Hacker shows up...
  • Parodied:
    • The various supernatural horrors are seen going to their own Christmas party; they need some fun as well, you know.
    • A crazed serial killer decides to commit his horrific murder spree dressed as Santa Claus. It's actually the Fourth of July. He read his calendar wrong.
    • The serial killer's "holiday" of choice turns to be...
    • The serial killer chooses to strike on Black Friday... And is trampled to death at Macy's before he can even pick out a first victim.
    • An accountant loses his marbles and goes on a killing spree during tax season.
    • A crazed serial killer tries to commit his horrific murder spree on an ordinary November day, but the Ministry of Conveniently Timed Horror captures him and forces him to wait until Christmas.
  • Zig Zagged: Nothing bad happens on Halloween. There's intimations of horrific occurrences at Christmas, but nothing actually happens. New Year is a bloodbath. Valentines Day, something the perpetrator thinks is evil but isn't quite as bad as they think happens, and so on.
  • Averted: Horrific occurrences don't occur on a major public holiday.
  • Enforced: The producers decide to follow in the footsteps of a successful horror movie set around Halloween by working their own script into something set around another major holiday; they settle on Christmas for the variation.
  • Lampshaded: "There's something about the psychology of a serial killer that's drawn to a particular theme; I guess this one just likes Christmas..."
  • Invoked:
    • The villian is the Boogeyman and is The Cynic, so he wants them to stop having fun, and thinks Christmas is a good time to do something bad.
    • Unknown to Alice, her boyfriend Damien has decided to use the already convenient arrangements around her Christmas party to organize a deal with the Devil, offering the souls of everyone invited to her party as tribute; the souls are consequently harvested by the Santa Claus Killer, who acts as the Devil's minion.
    • Alice and a group of others are summoned to a mysterious Christmas party by an unknown host — and go missing one by one.
  • Exploited:
    • Damien has decided to take advantage of the fact that the Santa Claus Killer always strikes at Christmas to murder Alice so that he can be with her best friend Libby; after all, if there's any questions he can always blame it on the Santa Claus Killer...
    • A Genre Savvy character (in a work in which this kind of reasoning is actually right) argues that despite certain suspicious signs, there couldn't possibly be a supernatural horror or serial killer on the loose, because it's not Halloween, Friday the Thirteenth, or even any special day at all. He is proven correct (even if only Right for the Wrong Reasons) when it turns out that someone was just perpetrating a hoax to scare people.
  • Defied:
    • Alice has strewn her halls with mystical holly and hung up enchanted mistletoe to protect her guests from the Santa Claus Killer. Sure enough, nothing happens.
    • Any massacre will be remembered forever by the community, especially if it's awful enough, so the killer decides that striking on Simple Tuesday is fine by him and spends Christmas either resting or preparing.
  • Discussed: "Sorry, I make it a policy to avoid Christmas gatherings where possible; they're like candy to a serial-killing Santa Claus obsessed demonic baby."
  • Conversed: "Alice's Christmas parties are exactly why I wish we were in a holiday-themed horror movie; sure, we'd be chased by some kind of demonic serial killer from Hell, but at least something interesting would be happening."
  • Implied; Alice spends part of her Christmas preparation montage checking the security measures on her house, which is so fortified even Laurie Strode would call it overkill.
  • Deconstructed: Alice's terrifying Christmas experiences traumatise her, not only spoiling a cherished holiday she used to enjoy by leaving her suffering from the heebie jeebies around anything Christmas-themed and afraid she'll be attacked again at Christmas.
  • Reconstructed: Through a long, arduous but not so painful process of psychological therapy, Alice makes a full recovery... just in time for the Santa Claus Killer to return...
  • Played For Laughs:
    • The Santa Claus 'Killer' is painfully inept; his every attempt at striking terror at Alice's Christmas party is either ignored, unnoticed or mocked. Finally, he storms into the Christmas party, intent on slaughter... and everyone cheers because Santa's shown up, and he doesn't get a chance to kill anyone. He ends up storming off in frustration, only to slip on a patch of ice and bump his head.
    • The Killer is seen trying to choose a holiday to base a theme around, only to become increasingly frustrated as it becomes apparent that all the 'good ones' are taken. He ends up being forced to settle for something extremely obscure, esoteric, small-scale or unusual, such as Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day.
    • The holiday the Killer picks is something so obscure that no one's ever heard of it, meaning he must explain it to everyone who he attacks. This causes increasing frustration.
    • Or the killer decides to strike on "Talk Like A Pirate Day". Nobody can take him seriously when he's running around with an old-timey cutlass and spouting seadog gibberish.
  • Played For Drama: Alice and her plucky team of protagonists must struggle to survive and defeat the Santa Claus Killer as he attempts to kill them with increasing viciousness and sadism.
  • Played For Horror: This Trope is already trying to perform this function for holiday media, but movies that have a high content rating will definitely try to include as much disturbing content as they can get away with.

Hoping that serial killer won't target your Christmas party? Sorry, but Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday.

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